Good enough mother…..

For all the women who are mothers, remember to be kind to yourself…..

Image – Authors own…

On this side of the Atlantic it is Mother’s Day today. It is a day set aside in the year to show your appreciation, love and gratitude…… or not.

Not all are necessarily ‘good mothers’. Some women long to be a mother, but nature has taken away their chance to be one, and so Mothers day can be a torturous reminder of what they are missing out on. The rest fall somewhere in between, including me.

I have been a mother for 34 years. I have been a foster mother for 19 years and I have been a grandmother for 15 years.

For those of us in between, I guess we hope to be ‘good enough’ mothers.

I remember my journey, the day I first became a mother on the 21st April 1989. I felt that I was now complete and my world was right there in my arms as I cradled my newborn baby girl.

From that moment my life changed completely. What went before just didn’t exist and paled into insignificance, and what lay ahead was to be an adventure of discovery.

As my baby grew and developed, so did I. As she gained new skills, so did I. When she hurt herself, I felt pain. When she achieved the slightest thing, I was her champion. When she cried or sulked or appeared to be in any sort of danger, I was filled with anxiety. I was like a lioness, her protector.

When I went back to work, I felt guilty. A mothers guilt is hard to shake off. You have to balance it with the benefits of what going to work means for your family and try to convince yourself, that it is all for the best.

Leaving your child with a child minder, or at a creche, or play school, while you go to work, builds their social skills and they learn that the separation is temporary, and so the attachment, you hope, it a secure one.

No matter what though and no matter how old they get, you often ask, ‘am I good enough, did I do enough, was I kind enough, firm enough, affectionate enough etc etc. As mothers, we always question ourselves. In being mothers, we often lose ourselves.

It is a hard and arduous task to be a ‘perfect’ mother and I don’t think any of us ever feel that we are.

If we are mothers, then we are also daughters and some will have great relationships with their mothers, some will have strained relationships and some will not really know their mothers at all and be brought up with adoptive mothers, foster mothers etc.

Each relationship will have their ups and downs, their highs and lows, their fall ins and fall outs. That is just human nature, because none of us are perfect and we each, as mothers and daughters, have to navigate our way in our mother daughter relationships.

Like every relationship, it has its strenghts and it has its weak spots. We want to be listened to and we want to be heard (mothers and children). As a mother I have often said to my many children and foster children ‘I am a person’. I think, sometimes, they forget that and just see you as their mother.

As I watch my children, who have their own children, I see their great love, devotion and skills that they have in their ‘mothering’ and I see and hear when they question themselves, ‘if they are good enough’.

Many children (young and grown up) are without their mothers, as they have passed away. This day, is a sad day for them and a reminder of what they are missing out on.

For all the doubters asking ‘am I good enough’, if you are being the best that you can be, give the best that you can give in trying to be the best mother that you can be, then yes, absolutely, you are good enough.

And remember, a mother is still ‘a person’ and like all people, make mistakes, so go easy on yourself and be kind to yourself.

Happy Mother’s Day